Public Release:  Three Johns Hopkins faculty win Novo Nordisk awards for diabetes research

Johns Hopkins Medicine

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IMAGE: This is Jonathan Powell, M.D., Ph.D. view more

Credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Three Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers have been awarded two-year grants for their work on potential treatments for diabetes, Novo Nordisk announced this month. Of the 110 initial submissions to the new Novo Nordisk Diabetes and Obesity Biologics Science Forum Program, only four projects were funded, three of which are led by Johns Hopkins researchers. They are Jonathan Powell, M.D., Ph.D.; G. William Wong, Ph.D.; and Elias Zambidis, M.D., Ph.D.

Jonathan Powell, a professor of oncology, will use his $500,000 proof of principle grant to conduct studies in mice of the effects of a protein designed to increase insulin sensitivity.

Wong, an associate professor of physiology, will apply his $250,000 early exploration grant to experiments on the workings of a hormone he discovered. That hormone, C1q/TNF-related protein-12, helps regulate how the body uses sugar and fats, so understanding its mechanisms may lead to novel ways of treating diabetes.

Zambidis, an associate professor of pediatric oncology, was awarded an early exploration grant of $250,000. He will test the use of stem cells to treat diabetes-induced damage to blood vessels in the eye, a condition known as diabetic retinopathy.

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